When I’m on Modafinil vs when I’m not on Modafinil

When I’m on Modafinil

  • I should prepare the strategy for creating great designs
  • I should organize mood boards, and should focus on creating themes and UI kits rather than jumping into design
  • I should investigate why t-engine is faster than vanilla nginx
  • I should find out if anyone else logged into my digital ocean VPS as the root user or not
  • I must find out the optimal way to isolate webpack from node to reduce the compile time
  • I must learn Kannada
  • I’ve heard people who learnt multiple languages had greater IQ
  • P V Narasimha Rao must have been great. He sent Vajpayee as a delegate to represent India once. That’s damn awesome.
  • There should be IQ level indicator in Facebook. You should ignore (or prevented from) engaging in comment-wars with people of lower IQs. I must create a chrome plugin that determines someone’s IQ and warns.

When I’m not on Modafinil

  • I should rather be at home. I focus better at home
  • The chirpy team next to me is very noisy & seems jobless. I can’t work in an environment like this.
  • I need coffee.
  • Enough for the day. Too noisy here. I should rather go home and sleep to get rid of the noise in my head.
  • It’s Wednesday. Because the noise levels are at peak.
  • I don’t know how to file IT returns yet. How’ll I manage a family?
  • The problem with open floor office designs is – you’ve no privacy. Joel Spolsky was right. Nobody wants to work in facebook because of their acre wide open floor office.
  • I need espresso. Double black eye.
  • Why people are so optimistic about their political leader and too cynical about who question the authority in this nation?
  • I’ve no cash. How’ll I manage a family?

Don’t quit keep playing

My friend sent me an inspirational video of Alan Thrall today and that hit me as intensely as it did 6 years ago while reading about Elmore music. This is an article I compiled for the college magazine Avipsa 6 years ago arranging & gluing stories straight from 2 news letters received from elmore-music. Here it is.

When I started compiling this article, I too became hesitant. But, the title itself is so enchanting that it urged me write more & more. I tried to yolk together fragrances & flavors of several beautiful stories that epitomize this inherent godly message of keeping pace even among hurdles.

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. At that moment, the great piano master, Paderewski made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit”. “Keep playing”. Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn’t recall what else the great master played. Only the classic “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.
Perhaps that’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t always graceful. However, with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can truly be beautiful. The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit”. “Keep playing”. I met a man who shared this story with me while chatting. In return, he left me eulogizing his story of success… here it is…
A man with bibulous imaginations walks to his rickety old balcony of his rental room & begins to think about great people who made fortunes across the globe. Unable to sleep a wink, he asks himself – If this is him, a graduate working a 9-5 job, earning $9 per hour, who barely affords to pay his rent at the end of the month? Fantasizing the stories how big millionaires like Richard Bronson bought an island or Donald Trump acquired another building, he makes up his mind. He no longer wants to watch the same miserable faces to and from work on that same old train. He turns on his PC, opens his mail box & notices a message from his cousin – she was upset, since she longed to learn guitar, but she could barely afford lessons, she could neither invest money on a tutor nor time. Suddenly he feels himself exhausted. As he turns the switch off, he felt a light bulb that went off in his head. “It’s time for killing the rat on the wheels that goes no where. It’s time for ending up my drudgery”, he makes a wild decision, and “I’ve to start my own business.”

“Most of the times it happens that you want to start your own business, but you just don’t know where to begin. Most of my ideas either cost too much or I simply didn’t have the experience to make it work. As the thought of catching the train the next day dawned on me … I made a decision right there and then that I was going to make a change, starting from now”, he explains it all.
He was really upto something, he was going to start his own online business and show people how to play the guitar on the internet. Now, what principles say, if you can’t overcome a hurdle, just avoid it, ignore it. “Working a full time job” came in the way of his new venture. So what’s next, he quits the job.
“It’s strange, but when you want something badly enough — you’ll find a way to get it … no matter what!…I don’t know why I did that, but I still remember that gut feeling of next week … I have no money to buy groceries! I had a total $0 income.”
He started by writing one guitar lesson per day, no more and no less being consistent at his aim of making a booklet of around fifty pages. Computer algorithms have an excellent saying – “Garbage in, Garbage out”. Unless you put good stuff into your head, you can’t expect good stuff to appear in your hands. Spending lunch hours in the state library studying business books he learnt business, sales, marketing and customer service. He could not hire someone & he would compile his tutorial himself. He figured out a need of $5000 in his start up capital.
“So, I started scanning the local papers. I bought cheap laptops from graduating students and sold them for a profit to the new students. Sometimes I sold up to 5 laptops in one evening and made more profit in one night than an entire week at work.” he said.
By the end of it all … a grand saving of $5,000 in his wallet & 50 pages of guitar tutorial made his head was filled with business, marketing and customer service strategies. “I called my parents begging to stay in their garage for a few weeks till I got my business off the ground. I had just met my girlfriend at that stage, so you can imagine how humiliating that must have been — no job, no money and living in your parent’s garage … what kind of guy is this!…But I swallowed my pride, lived in a single garage with $0 income for a few weeks.”

Men make wonders in their own castle. A wall in the center of the room halved it for a part for his business work and the other for a single bed. That’s all the room there was! It was just the perfect illustration for two halves of your brain in your cranium, one for creative purpose & other for logical decisions.

If your mind can conceive it – you will achieve it – period! There is no substitute to hard work & success comes to those who dare & act. The timid never made fortunes. So he adds, “…During that time … I worked my A** off from dusk till dawn. I learned everything from how to build a web site to writing sales copy to connecting merchant accounts to marketing online and search engine submissions … you name it … I did it!”

Wait pal! Times were ain’t no good so far. You never build Rome over a night. Saplings would take time to grow. You just saw the root. If you demand your own fruit, then to taste it you must go for a period of hunger…And remember – this probation period makes no promises, no guarantees.

Months went by. But, presto! The first fruit you taste, no matter how big it is…Its flavor will be sweetest among all. “My first sale came in. I almost fell off my chair. It was only $27 but it meant a world to me. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel…”
After some search engine optimization study, his guitar site went to No. 1 in Google Page Rank. Allowing other people to re-sell his product for a commission & implementing an affiliate program he earned a handsome gross total of $5,000 a month. Now, a handy book turned into a media & graphics content rich flashy website that goes live & sends regular newsletters for free to the visitors who willingly sign up for it.

“I thanked my parents for use of their garage and cleared off their mortgage for them before I left. I wiped off all my student loans, bought my first Mercedes Benz straight off the showroom floor and built a brand new dream home for my wife and new baby boy to live in.”
Today they employ staff, contribute to charities, fly overseas every year on vacation and return home to a bigger bank account than when they first left…He is an Australian & he is only 27 years old, but he has rightly played a brand new ball game of life. He misses his colleague who still works at the same job for the same boss for the same weekly paycheck waiting for retirement. “It’s a great life and gets better each day…When you really focus and put your mind to it … great things can happen.”
There so much more out there, so much more to do, so much more to see, so much more to experience and so much more to enjoy. If you are silently saying to yourself … ‘it sounds good, but let’s get real’ … then that’s the precise point where we need to start! Your current mindset!

In conclusion…It’s possible! Don’t Quit…Keep Playing…


There was no internet in office yesterday. We did n’t plank, so you can guess we are not into fitness as much as our silicon valley counterparts. But we did something else. We flipped the chairs to engage in human-to-human-conversation, on all sorts of topics, technology, hypothesis, marketing, growth hacking.

Food is free in office (fall for it people, this is another reason you should work for a startup like us… hihihi). Yesterday lunch arrived a little late.

No internet = No work

Hence, only worry in left in life at that moment was – hunger.

I and Shyam were sitting in the pantry, waiting for food, talking some stupid stuff (precisely, I was doing the stupid part, shyam was doing the talking part). Ranadheer, we call him Rana, our Head of Products, although he prefers to call himself a product manager, came in, saw us and snarkily said Aaahn! See the desperate folks are sitting here already, Shyam smirked.

Then ensued a chain of discussions when Rana stopped at one point, said

“I forgot the name. This has been happening since sometime, may be I’m getting old.”

Me – “May be you’re reading a lot these days?”

Rana – “That could be true as well. I’ve been reading a lot since last few days”

Shyam – “Short term memory loss of a kind?”

Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Short term memory loss is one of the symptoms.

Rana went on to narrate the story of his mother. In his words –

My mother is in her late seventies now.And now she has started showing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. She recognizes me and some other people. But she won’t remember when we met for the last time.

Few years back, when I visited her, she used to have a laundry list of complaints, formed of her anxieties, worries and fears. Like she’ll go whining about why her son visits her only once in a month, when she will see her grandson doing x, when will she meet Y etc. I’ve observed, as she grew old, her anxieties kept building up over the years. At the end of the day, she’ll be a sad old lady who has a lot of worries but she will be helpless about it. It was very saddening to see it happening.

…now, when she has forgotten everything, she is a happy lady

But now, when she has forgotten everything, she is a happy lady. It’s pretty astounding to see this. All of her worries are gone. She is no longer a whining old lady. She no longer fires those questions at me. Although, she’ll occasionally ask me if I’ll come next month or not, but that’s totally ok. I’m happy to see this transformation in her. In the coming years she will forget even more of the stuff. It’s good anyway. I’m happy to see her this way.

Shyam echoed the same sentiments and narrated his story about his grandmother.

My grandmother has Alzheimer’s too. But isn’t it a strange phenomena that people don’t forget everything, like, you know, those things deeply buried in the mind. I’ll give you an example, she doesn’t recognize me often, people around will have to tell her about me before she makes sense of me being there. It’s depressing,a bit disappointing that she forgot me, but you know, every morning when someone plays some records, she’ll recite & hum along the raga. She knows most ragas & still remembers them. Like, if someone plays one on the tv or on the record, she recognizes it immediately.

..every morning when someone plays some records, she’ll recite & hum along the raga. She knows most ragas & still remembers them..


Baffled with the deeper meaning this conversation carried, I thought to myself – Clearly the brain works in strange ways.

You forget all attachments, all regrets that you had in life, may be the sorrowful memories you had, and also the lovable memories you cherish all the time. It deprives you of the thoughts that would have made you feel attached in turn would have made your exit difficult.

It’s like the brain preparing you to be happy, may be in a invasive manner by erasing memories of people and events, and thus, erasing all emotions attached to all worldly possessions, so that you won’t have to live in regret and when death comes you’ll embrace it happily.


Being Grown Up

There was an old story about two wolves – good wolf and bad wolf and the one you feed more, becomes stronger with time & the other, weaker. The wolves represent our – desires, temptations, habits, behavior i.e. everything about our nature that’s private, intimate to us and has the capacity to drive us into an insane pursuit.


There used to be a time when I had a desire to live life untamed. I used to get tempted and buy things, despite those not being a necessity and later regret buying them. I’d take more food on the plate than I could consume and regret throwing food away. Sometime I’d eat more than I could digest and later regret. I would drink often despite knowing tomorrow it’s gonna give hangovers and headache & hamper my productivity. I would smoke even more despite knowing it’s killing me slowly. I had addictions to even more nefarious elements of life too. Laziness, Procrastination were ruling me. Then, these cumulative regrets crossed that thin line, where I decided – it was enough. It’s my body, it’s my mind & I’m more than a slave to my desires.


We’ve a lot of anxieties in us. The existential angst that we relieve by few hours of shopping, or dining out, or travelling. It doesn’t fix the problem. It makes us escape from them momentarily. We have preferences, likes and dislikes. Our desires, our temptations, our sense of good and bad – these are what we are composed of. Therefore, we normally believe that desires are good too and suppressing desires is wrongful. If desires are suppressed by will, we call it sacrifice and if suppressed by circumstances or society we call it’s oppression. But desires harm us too. They often lead us to seek instant gratification and procrastinate what’s important for us and we have to suffer panic attack when we run out of time. The unintended results make us regret.


I’ve a vision of what I want to be and I must dictate the rules and act in a manner that favors my vision and not what the instant gratification monkey tells me to do. It takes a lot of effort to beat the inner demons of desire. Growing up, I’ve realized, being grown up is about taking command of your actions, it’s about delaying gratification for maximal results, it’s about resisting bias, it’s about resisting temptations, resisting procrastination, consciously and constantly, without fail, it’s about being strong and not being a slave to the desires.

It’s our constant conscious practice which finally makes its way to the subconscious i.e. our superego and that’s what makes us incorruptible.


Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the resistance to it.
Mark Twain

similar links:

Woes of social media: Tinder

CID has been running successfully in India since 19 years, yes, today i.e 30th April, it’s exactly 19 years since their pilot episode.

There was an episode where CID was investigating a serial murder case -they suspect a kidney racket behind these. They revisit the victims’ houses to reexamine for any clues left behind, interrogate witnesses & people they knew. They find nothing to link these victims, except a gift mug with a Zodiac sign. Although, a mug may not emerge as an incriminating evidence, they still try to trace where those mugs were purchased from & who bought them. They find all were bought from the same shop, and the buyer being a coupe, one of them would be anyone from the victims, and the other was a girl.

They hunt the girl down. But, she doesn’t seem to have any records of past criminal activity. They realise the story doesn’t end with the girl. There is a racket involved in it.

CID decides to let go Inspector Daya as an under cover officer. Daya assumes his new role, as a gym buff and tries to woo the girl, who happens to frequent the same gym. Daya & the girl start dating. CID still keeps observing every activity. All of a sudden, on one of the dates, in a pub, the girl sedates Daya. A crashing fainting Daya is helped by 4 other unidentified men, hanging around the same pub, to be taken into his car. But then, they take him into an ambulance, which doubles as a moving operation theatre.

Thankfully, CID intervenes in time & rescues Daya & arrests more people and surgeons involved in the racket.

Now, I leave it to the reader’s imagination.

Suppose, Daya were not a police officer & it were you instead. You happen to find this girl on tinder and you happen to go on several more dates with her until you start to trust her. Then, on a fateful day you’re sedated & then the next thing the world knows that your body organs were stolen and you died.

People are often conservative and feel shy about sharing anything, especially if it were a fresh-new blind date on tinder. This story is could be exaggeration. I’d say it’s just a figment of my imagination. But then, can we overlook the possibilities of this ever happening?

We have seen hook ups, break ups, prostitution,  wild tinder profiles, social experiments on people swiping-right on murders, people playing too dangerously, and even deaths.

It’s time.

Sexism doesnt exist

When someone says sexism does not exist,
or that men have it harder
or even equally AS hard as women,
or anything like this,
it feels like the fight I have had to go through every single day
just to keep myself safe,
and every woman out there who is going through the same…
You say sexism doesn’t exist, and you nullify my 24-year-long battle in a second.
That’s what it feels like.
It’s infuriating.
– from a friend

Fitness tips: Healthy Food vs Unhealthy Food

We’ve talked enough on these. It’s about time we’ve seen people whining about fat and calories in their foods and talk about eating salads, sprouts and stupid health drinks.

I’d say that’s total bullsh*t.

When you go and workout, you burn calories. You still need more calories to withstand those burns and keep walking until the next day. You need all that fat & cholesterol for your testosterones, proteins for your muscles to grow and repair.

Human body is an intelligent machine and it’s receptive. If you feed it more energy than it requires, it stores them. Your objective is to take in all that calorie and burn that all the next day during your workout.

People with a sedentary lifestyle will complain about how little time they had. I be like – Really? Is that your excuse not to workout.

Let me tell you something. I took a 300 push up challenge last day & guess what 20 push ups and 5 pull ups take 2 minutes altogether. That’s lesser than the time it’d take you to brew your coffee. And, it safely burns your daily average calorie intake.

That said, there are precautions you’ve to take like – raw foods may contain bacteria, stale food is a strict no no. If you’re allergic to something, then don’t eat that.

In my case eating oily foods before workout resulted in heartburns, so I totally avoid it & recommend not going for that before workouts. But after workouts, you name it & I eat it.

Recently we saw articles about processed foods like bacon could cause cancer. So, if you don’t like to eat fast food or processed food, then go the natural way – you have milk, yoghurt, peanuts, cream, eggs, rice, pulses and what not.

So, the conclusion – Food is important for your body. Don’t classify it as healthy or unhealthy. And,

Da fuq you say, there is no such thing as unhealthy food. It’s not the food, it’s your lifestyle choices which are unhealthy.

Bonus video:

What’s the best time to workout?

answer – any god damned time

If you’re being a couch potato, sitting idle in front of that tv, finding reasons not to work out then you don’t need a right time for working out at all.

If you want to be trusted, then you have to be sincere with every commitment you make. Question here is – Do you trust yourself? Yes/No/Maybe? Are you sincere enough towards yourself? Did you do what you committed to yourself? More importantly, if you can not trust yourself with something, then you don’t deserve to be trusted by anyone else.

Watch this video through of a guy’s transformation story of 10 weeks. Precisely, snap to 2:40 in the time. This guy speaks up – what was his right time for training.

His commitment to self is incredible. After watching this video, ask this question to yourself again. You’ll get the answer.

स्वयमेव मृगेन्द्रता (SWAYAMEVA MRUGENDRATA)

What does स्वयमेव मृगेन्द्रता, SWAYAMEVA MRUGENDRATA mean?

You may see it going along with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh(HSS)’s emblem

Courtesy: HSS Websites & their G+ page

And often below the logo/emblem of every Saraswati Sishu/Vidya Mandir where a young boy is seen playing with his hand in the mouth of an adult (male) lion.

Courtesy: orissadiary.com
Courtesy: saraswatividyamandir.in
Courtesy: saraswatividyamandir.in

The statement has a truly inspirational meaning to it.

Swayam(स्वयम) stands for self.

Mruga/Mriga (मृग) stands for deer. However, in this context, it stands for all the animals of the forest.

Indra(इन्द्र), although the namesake suggests the king/leader of all devasit can also refer to the king or the master in general.

So, as perceived, in the context of the forest, a Mrugendra (मृगेन्द्र) stands for the king of all animals of the forest i.e. the lion.

The official meaning of the statement is as follows:

There is no official coronation ceremony (rajyabhishekha) held to crown the lion as the king of the forest. It becomes king by its own attributes and might.

When applied in the context of humans, it basically is about leadership. One doesn’t need any official recognition or ceremony to be identified as a leader. One needs to  enhance his/her personality, build up strength/courage, strong enough to fight or match-the-might of the strongest – to become the leader.

In a detailed article about  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its ideals, Pragya Tiwari writes:

The Sangh’s real strength comes from its founder Dr Hedgewar’s diktat of Swayameva Mrugendrata – find within yourself the strength of the lion.

The same text goes with the emblem of the Saraswati Sishu/Vidya Mandir & fraternity of such schools.

The logo shows a courageous boy playing, or possibly fighting with a lion which represents the courage of the boy that parallels with the king of the forest i.e. the lion.

It asks every soul in this universe to find the strength, the lion, within and encourages to become leaders by virtue of their own might.

Pillow Fight Pranks – they can restore your faith in humanity

A stranger out of nowhere throws a pillow at another unwary stranger, they just happen to catch it out of their reflexes, and before they could  comprehend anything, they’re bashed with the pillow. In an act of defense, they fight back, of course with a pillow. And fun ensues.

It just happened to me that one day that one of my x-colleagues shared a gif on facebook – a pillow fight gif. That post totally made my day. Instantly, I felt how cheerfully these folks are fighting with each other, that’s just so cute.

And, I couldn’t resist, and created myself a youtube playlist of these videos. I insist you watch all of them – the more you watch, the funnier & lovelier it gets.